Hi Dad, never mind the phone line cutting through this photo — I was too lazy to walk the additional 30 feet to get on the other side.
This scene caught my eye because they were planting crops in long, narrow blocks, and it reminded me of when we were looking at the Google Earth satellite photos of Syria and noticing the planting patterns they were using there.
"Çare" means hope, and "sarıgül" means yellow rose.
For months I saw this grafitti and thought a lovesick man obsessed with a woman named Sarıgül had criss-crossed the country, spraying this grafitti on bridges, roads, and the backs of street signs.
Finally, in December, a friend in Mersin, Melih Mutluay, corrected me. He told me Sarıgül was a politician, and these signs were grafitti in support of him.
Melih got a good laugh out of my thinking this was some lovesick guy’s grafitti. I guess I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Witness my spending over 4 months thinking bottles of urine were bottles of apple juice.
Today I was walking through the village of Nizip. I saw what I thought was a very lively-looking market. The colors were very bright. There were lots of people. “I will definitely check that one out,” I thought to myself.
As I walked in something seemed weird to me. I noticed there were a lot of children running around, a lot more children than is normal for a market. Then I noticed a lot of men were sitting around on the ground. “That’s not normal for a market, either,” I thought. Then I noticed the tents. They were almost completely empty, also not normal for a market.
Then I looked closer at the people. They were not Turks. They were Syrians. I was not walking through a market. I was walking through a Syrian refugee camp.
What I do
I specialize in preparing clients for English-language presentations to Board members and upper-level management in multinational corporations. My clients get promoted to global positions and win international awards.
I have spent 40% of my adult life abroad, with stints living and working in China and in Turkey.
I have extensive international trade and operations experience, including supply chain management, ecommerce sales and customer service, and business communications coaching.
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